Valentine’s Day is a tremendous opportunity for brands to advertise their products with the hype of the special day, increase sales, and get old customers to buy again. However, this is also a dangerous period for marketers, as Valentine’s Day is a delicate topic and potential clients can be easily scared off with tactless, familiar, vulgar, or just plain banal brand messages.
Let’s think about how to properly communicate your benefits to customers in 2021 and not be ranked as the authors of the worst February 14 ad of all time.
Valentine’s day marketing stats
Every year people spend more and more money on gifts for their loved ones for Valentine’s Day. For instance, in 2017, Americans spent over $18.2 billion for Valentine’s Day, and only three years after, the amount of money spent by them increased to almost $28 billion! This study by Statista Research Department took into account only the profit of companies that announced Valentine’s Day sales on their websites and in stores, so we can only guess how big this figure actually is.
How many people celebrate Valentine’s Day? If we are talking about the USA or European countries, the percentage of people who plan to congratulate their loved ones on this holiday reaches 51%! Moreover, we are talking not only about couples in love but also about family members and friends.
The most active people during the holiday sales are aged from 35 to 44 years. On average, they spend over $300 on people they love.
It is also interesting that unlike buying gifts for major holidays such as Christmas, most people (more than half) shop for Valentine’s Day on February 14. This gives you the opportunity to launch last-minute sales campaigns and not lose profit, even if you did not have a chance to get ready for this day in advance.
Globally, the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day are sweets and greeting cards (more than half of all the people who celebrate this holiday buy them), flowers, as well as romantic dinner, clothes, and, of course, jewelry. Consider that jewelry is the consumer product that people spend the most money on on Valentine’s Day ($5.8 billion according to the National Retail Federation).
Note! There are also some countries that don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all (mainly, because it is considered to be a religious holiday), including Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.
6 Valentine’s Day ideas for brands and marketing campaign examples
We’ve mentioned that there are several market niches that are doing well on the eve of February 14 in the United States and Europe. Greeting card manufacturers, sweets stores, jewelry, and flower boutiques are among them.
However, even if your business does not seem like it has anything worthy of a romantic gift at first glance, never underestimate the hype around Valentine’s Day! The history of advertising has many examples of how a smart approach and creativity made thematic brand content go viral.
Take the February 2014 ad by Carphone Warehouse (a company that helps people to save while buying smartphones and other devices), in which they turned a printed newsletter into a bouquet of flowers and said ‘Why spend more this Valentine’s Day? We compare, you save!’.
Want more cases like this? Explore the best Valentine’s Day ideas brands used in the previous years.
#1 Becoming a part of family history
Valentine’s Day is a day when people not only declare their love but also make marriage proposals. We recommend that you think about how your product or service can be tailored to such important life events.
Do not rush to answer, it may not be that obvious! Instead, take some big brand campaign as an example. In 2018, McDonald’s changed their slogan to ‘I’m lovin’ [name of the partner]’ for a day to enable their customers to confess their love to loved ones through McDonald’s billboards and social accounts.
If you manage to find a similar touchpoint, your product could end up becoming a part of a family album and getting extra attention on social media.
Source: Ads of the World
#2 Sending unexpected gifts to those who are alone
Unfortunately, not everybody is lucky enough to have loved ones around on Valentine’s Day. In addition, some people may have recently lost their lovers. Your corporate greetings along with aggressive sale announcements targeting the same people can upset some.
But why not turn singles who are commonly neglected by brands on this day into your customers or followers? Show empathy for those who are currently alone or feel lonely and cheer them up. For example, you can host an online dating party on February 14 or offer your customers special prices on goods that they can gift themselves and uplift their spirit.
#3 Reliable last-minute delivery
As it turns out, a lot of people purchase gifts for Valentine’s Day right on this day. In 2021, there are still COVID-19 restrictions concerning shopping in physical stores so the number of those who order online is still growing. As a result, it is likely that delivery services operating in big cities just couldn’t keep up with Valentine’s 2021 demands.
Perhaps your product is not candy or flowers, but you can ensure its delivery within an hour. And… perhaps, you could also stop by the road for flowers and make the day for someone with lockdown date plans!
#4 Can your product or service be a gift? Don’t worry if it can’t!
If your product isn’t romantic enough to give it to your loved ones for a holiday, it doesn’t mean that you can’t benefit from Valentine’s Day in terms of PR. Your advertising campaign, in which you rethink holiday cliches with humor and even self-irony may be appreciated by users even more.
For example, Vodafone products are difficult to present as a holiday gift, but telecommunication gives people the opportunity to confess their love to each other on February 14. That was the key takeaway from their holiday ad in 2013.
Source: Ads of the World
And in 2006, Heineken congratulated people on Valentine’s Day with a bottleneck resembling a wedding ring. A beautiful and eye-catchy approach made the brand color and the image stick in the minds of consumers.
Top Valentine’s Day symbols to rethink in your ads: red color, hearts, red roses, heart-shaped candies, Valentine’s Day cards, engagement rings, kisses, Cupid and his arrows, doves and bird couples, candles, fonts imitating handwriting.
#5 Tell love stories (perhaps fictional ones)
Romance novels still remain the most popular genre of literature. In addition, modern technology enables us to tell love stories in a variety of ways, including doing so through social media posts, a series of YouTube videos, and company websites.
In 2021, try to come up with a social media campaign idea that has storytelling elements. Romantic stories can come from your customers, your team, classic literature (your product could become the hero of a well-known fictional story), or your customer’s prototype. Their pain points may be the starting point for developing the story plot.
The advantage of having a solid romantic story that you share within your campaign is that you can tell it in parts, in full and short forms, and support with audio tracks or your unique brand message. A great example of romantic storytelling in advertising is the Spanish Lottery commercial released in February 2020.
#6 Go anti-Valentine!
Anti-Valentine’s Day is a trend that is especially popular among millennials and Gen Zs. These people are indifferent to the consumerist traditions of their parents and they believe that holidays like this were invented by marketers (which is partly true).
Consider that millennials buy significantly more than other generations both online and offline so most likely, they are part of your target audience. Here are some ways to appeal to them on February 14:
- Share songs about singles who enjoy their status.
- Put together a list of cool movies featuring broken love.
- Avoid red and other Valentine’s Day color associations wherever possible.
- Create sarcastic anti-Valentine’s Day cards for followers.
- Make your followers laugh with anti-Valentine’s memes made from stock images (see some of them here).
Don’t want to put much effort into such campaigns? Create postcards based on ready-made Depositphotos templates with Crello, our online editor. In addition, we have a great collection of ironic visuals on this subject that could be downloaded and posted as soon as you need thematic content.
No matter how you personally feel about Valentine’s Day, in the US and the EU, almost every second person celebrates it. That’s why you should consider this day when planning your marketing activities.
It goes without saying that people are different, as are their attitudes about this day. Someone plans to confess their love for the first time in their life, someone plans to traditionally exchange gifts with their spouse, and some buy special treats for their dogs on this day and ignore the special occasion associated with February 14. The takeaway here is that you can come up with creative ideas to appeal to every one of these groups.
We encourage you to figure out how your target audience tends to behave on Valentine’s Day and then think about a campaign concept based on these insights. How can your product be better highlighted on February 14? Could it be a gift, a holiday attribute, or a tool to speak up about feelings?
We hope that this year you will find an interesting angle to feat your products and find a new way to appeal to your target audience. Once you have a concept for the campaign, head over to our trending collections of images and videos featuring Valentine’s Day to find visuals that you can use right away for your projects.
Explore more on Valentine’s Day
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